FileHippo This is currently out top recommendation as they offer a wide collection of clean software with fast download rates without requiring a proprietary downloader. A unique and useful feature is they offer a full version history of most products.
MajorGeeks This site carries only tech tools and utilities. Guidance is limited to brief reviews and user ratings. However, if you are looking for tech tools this is THE place to go. One of our favorites.
SnapFiles Offers a huge collection, great organization and a refreshingly clean presentation. Products are briefly reviewed and carry site ratings, user rating and user comments.
Softpedia A huge commercial site with an excellent collection organized by platform. It features site and user star ratings for products and user comments. The search engine doesn't display any ratings and this limits its use when selecting. The real selling point for this site is its "100% clean" guarantee. For many that is a winning feature but remember it easy to claim a 100% guarantee but much harder to achieve it!
FileForum-Betanews Not the largest download collection, but if you're looking for the very latest products you'll find them here long before other download sites.
FreewareFiles.com Good collection of software with user ratings and number of downloads listed. Quite a few ads scattered throughout.
More specialized sites
In addition to the generalized sites with freeware of many sorts, there are numerous places with freeware in specific categories. Here are some of my favorites.
NirSoft Developer Nir Sofer has created a large assortment of small useful utilities for helping with many of the tasks of managing Windows systems. A treasure-trove of useful free apps can be found on his site.
Free Microsoft Downloads The Microsoft site is full of free stuff but finding it isn't always easy. Fortunately, there is a an article here at Gizmo's that tells what there is and where to find it.
Last Freeware Version If one of your favorite programs has gone commercial, you may be able to find the last free version at this site. Some of the things there are so old that they won't work on more recent versions of Windows so be careful about what you try.
OldApps.com A place to find free older versions of many applications. A Website of the Week selection
The Portable Freeware Collection Do you like programs and utilities that don't have to be installed and can be run from anywhere? Then head over to this site for a big selection of portable freeware.